Ian's Rambles - New Improved SHAPE of Action

In this last week I delivered my patented “Never Do A Character Drawing or Pose Without A Line Of Action Again!” spiel to the first year Southbank students. There is a lot of information in that spiel, and its always a challenge to find the balance between delivering the information you all need to know and overwhelming you with too much new stuff at one time. There is always more to say, but sometimes you just have to let it go, and there is something to be said for self discovery, students who experiment with a concept and flesh it out in their minds by doing it instead of listening to me will learn so much more (hint hint).

That having been said, I couldn’t resist expanding a little further on the topic of line of action. I’ve been scouring the internet for some good examples of the principles I’m exploring.

Ckick the pick or HERE to read on.


Dana said...

OOOOO...more line of action, HUZZAH! This is really helpful, thanks Ian ^___^
The next pic I draw has to have a twisted LOA.
Weee hooo....more learning!
That's one thing I like about animation, your always learning. Makes life more interesting when you always have something to learn.

Mitch said...

Yeah this one helps heaps thanx Ian... But I can't help but Notice some hypocrisy in the classroom. You made a HUGE point about not making crappy poses for your characters in animation, and yet I can't help but notice a little bit of crappy posing in your easy-man picture on that 3D website you sent me to the other week. ^_^ I still know where you're getting from, I just wanted to point out something. IAN! IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LINE OF ACTION! GOD!

Ian said...

Ba bla ga nA!!!!! Crappy Posing! Identify this "Crappy Pose". Explain to me what is crappy about it. Be carefull my inexperienced friend, are you sure you just don't understand what I was doing in the pose?

Man, I get no respect. :P

Ian said...

I admit that I may have been in a bit of a hurry when I made this pose, and it couls perhaps do with some more tweeking. But I assure you that after 10 years or so of working with LOA, I couldn't do a character drawing without it even if I wanted to.

Click HERE to see.

Do you also remember me saying in class an animator never finishes a pose. He or She just keeps improving it untill they are out of time. Well on the Sunday arvo I was doing this pose, I didn't have much time :)

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I really liked your blog. I have always been interested in animation. You are truly a very creative and talented person. Good Luck!

Mitch said...

hahaha dw Ian I'm just trying to stir the pot. It was just my own personal giggle to myself when i was downloading it STRAIGHT after your lecture on not posing infront of the camera "like a cool dude" ^_^ Cool dudes ALWAYS have a line of action... just not a very interesting one. because they are too worried they'll "lose their COOL", if they move from their spot.

Ian said...

Ahhh, well Mitch. What I was saying in class about "cool dude" poses (for those of you following at home), was that they are not very relevant for animation. In animation you usually have to pose the character in the moment, doing something and feeling something.

This image was not for animation, even though its 3d it serves much more of an illustrative function. As in, this is what this character look like.

Well, at least I know you will keep me honest Mitch :)

Celticangel - Thank for stopping by and your kind words :) Cheers

Ian said...


Ian said...

Thats what I get for making something free for everyone.

Dana said...

Awww...it's ok Ian, you know we appreciate it ^__^
I would give you some chocolate but i actually don't have any, so pretend like I do have some and that you are getting some =D

Mitch said...

ahahaha, No Ian, your character is really good for Maya, and it's really basic, I figured out how to pretty much move everything and use all the facial features. My only one problem is that I screwed up the eyes somehow... and even though I move the veiw point for the eyes, the eyes themselves don't move...

I'm workin' on a cool little fighting scene with him punching about. But the eyes aren't moving properly so he reminds me of that kid from mercury rising, always looking up and to the left all the time.


BUT YES! back to the important thing at hand, this is a great blog entry. You're ALWAYS thinking about us :D.

"Maybe they didn't QUITE understand my little lecture the other day on lines and shapes of action, I should throw away a good hour or so of my weekend to write up the explanation in my blog for them and share a little with the world at the same time"

we don't give you enough credit for your work Ian.


Dana said...

Guess what Ian! I just watched the doco with glen kean and the rough animation on tarzan and I got the sudden urge to do all my key frames but this time with perspective! I would if I had a light box but my dad said that it'll be a couple of weeks till it's finished. Hmmm...maybe I should give it a go later when i do get my light box.
I also got the urge to watch Tarzan but only because it's a beautifully animated movie, especially when he slides down the tree vines on his feet.

Ian said...

well you will have to get that lightbox asap, we cant have compusions to animate going unanswered.

Sorry to all I havn't posted for a few days. I've been up to the wee hours each night the last few days trying to get my computer back on track. Its unwell.

Hope to get it sorted soon, and will be back with avengance.

john k said...

Line of action helps your poses "read". It makes them clear and understandable and gives them a distinct non-ambiguous direction.

Ian said...

Some more LOA links